Thursday, February 13, 2020

An Ode To Arrow

It’s been a little over two weeks since the Arrow series finale, and I’ve only just seen it. I can say I didn’t watch it sooner because of whatever reason like I was too busy or tired, but the truth is I wasn’t ready to watch it. I wasn’t ready to watch the episode before it either. I’ve watched plenty of shows end, but for some reason, this got me. This jammed me up. To be entirely transparent, the only reason I forced myself to finally watch the last two episodes was that I needed to catch up on all the other DCW shows, and felt I couldn’t without saying goodbye to Oliver and Team Arrow first. So I did it.

But now I’m sitting here, trying to figure out how I feel, and how to talk about it. The best I can come up with is it was an imperfect end to an imperfect show, which made it a perfect finale. By that I mean Arrow was never a perfect show, and its imperfections became more glaringly obvious as the seasons progressed, but Fadeout reminiscent of an earlier time in the series when the imperfections weren’t so blatant, and we could more easily enjoy the ride and be there with the characters.

Fadeout brings back as many characters as possible, or so it seems, including previously thought dead people like Quentin Lance, Moira Queen, and Tommy Merlyn. Thea, Roy, Curtis, and Rory Reagan (Ragman) come back. Even characters like Nyssa and Talia al Ghul, Emiko (Oliver and Thea’s half-sister), and everyone’s favorite Russian, Anatoly make a cameo as everyone gathers to say goodbye.

And what a goodbye it is. With Fadeout, we go back to the beginning, both literally and figuratively. We see Oliver on the life raft after The Queen’s Gambit went down, and his father sacrificed himself so Ollie could live. We also have a true flashback story from around the time Oliver was just starting as the Hood and Diggle knew and wanted to help, but Oliver kept holding him at a distance. The flashback served as a beginning step for Oliver as he listened to John and didn’t kill the guy on his list, and their relationship started to grow, and it served as a vehicle for the final bad guy story of the show. The man Oliver didn’t kill spent eight years in Iron Heights, got out and kidnapped a young William, with the intent of killing the kid. Sara Lance traveled to the future to bring adult Mia to Oliver’s funeral, and when this all happened, she became the Green Arrow and was the one to find William. She wanted to kill the man who snatched him, but if Oliver didn’t kill him, then she wouldn’t either. And then we all that’s left to deal with is saying goodbye to Oliver, and those people who were dead, dealing with that knowledge. It made for some funny moments. My only pet peeve is there should have been more superheroes. Only Barry, Kara, and Sara were at the graveside. Ray, Cisco, Caitlyn, Iris, J’onn and maybe Alex should have also been there. They knew Oliver and had fought by his side. And they are the ones who get to carry on the legacy of Oliver Queen and the Arrowverse. So, I’m a little pissed about that.

Arrow brought me deeper into the DCU. I’ve read some of the comics, but I was always more of a Marvel gal. Now, through the Arrowverse, I’m watching everything DC, and trying to read more trades to catch up. That’s what I love about fandoms. People discovering new ones and diving in. It doesn’t matter if it’s just the shows or the comics or everything. If something makes a person excited, that’s one of the greatest feelings. Arrow gave me that. And I think Arrow gave me that feeling stronger than any of the other fandoms I’ve discovered over the last decade. For fandoms like Doctor Who or Star Trek, I feel like I slipped into the communities with ease, warmth, and a feeling like I always belonged there, but with Arrow, it was all new and exciting. It reminds me almost of when I first started reading comics, and the excitement I felt when I read every X-book I could get my hands on. It wasn’t easy, but it was thrilling.

The MCU has accomplished the shared universe on the big screen, but the DCW did it with more nuance. Arrow kicked off the birth of the comic book universe on television, and because of that, we were able to explore the lives of these characters in fuller ways than the MCU can, but we also got to have the joy of the crossovers. Seeing so many characters together, seeing the new dynamics, the different conflicts, the bigger storylines… all of it has been some of the most must-see TV for me in years.

It’s weird talking about this. It’s weird writing about this. It almost doesn’t feel real. This was the show that brought me out of my little bubble of writing for only here. With Arrow, I began recapping the show for Legion of Leia. I did it for a few seasons, but then life got in the way, and I couldn’t continue. But it was the first time, I saw people paying attention to what I was saying because I was recapping and reviewing. People were listening to me. How bizarre is that? Seriously. I don’t know who’s reading this. I hope you like it, but I don’t know if any of this will resonate. I’m not writing because I want people to notice me. I’m writing because I have these thoughts inside my head, and I want to share them, because they’re driving me crazy, and because maybe someone out there has similar thoughts too, and we can connect over them. Arrow was the show that made me feel like I was actually forming small connections. How cool is that?

Stephen Amell has been a great leader. He’s earned the right to pass the baton and rest. I hope the rest of the cast gets to do the occasional cameo in the other shows. I hope the cast and crew continue to work steadily and do fulfilling work. I wish nothing but the best for everyone.

I loved this crazy show. Even when I was tired of it, I still loved it, and I always came back to it. I will always love this show. I don’t think I realized just how much I loved this show until I started writing. Which is funny, because the first clue should’ve been my reluctance t watch the finale, and the second HUGE clue should’ve been that almost as soon as the episode started, I began crying hard. Go figure. *shrug*

I’ll miss Arrow. I’ll miss the crazy ride, but I’m so glad I went on along. I'm going to go wash my face now and drink a glass of water. Thank you.

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